Lakewood Economic Impact Study
Lakewood’s aging infrastructure had been the cause of lower water pressure delivered to homes, and chronic sewer backups. Newer, more durable materials which replaced the older system, will result in better water pressure and quality and fewer system failures.
In 2011, the previously independent City of Lakewood, TN was annexed by Nashville Metro Government. In order to bring Lakewood up to Metro Water Services’ (MWS) standards, a $13.9M infrastructure renewal project began in 2014. As part of Metro’s larger effort to increase efficiency and reduce overflows throughout the city, the project replaced or rehabbed nearly every water and sewer service within Lakewood and installed a new stormwater system.
Wilmot was asked to do a case study analyzing the benefits to the community, focusing on the social, environmental, and economic impacts of the investment. Findings included $27.1M in economic activity, 159 community jobs, and support for local Nashville small businesses, with 91% of construction work completed by small & disadvantaged businesses within Davidson County. Public safety was improved as an increase in system volume effectively doubled the flow that can be used to fight fires. The new stormwater collection system, designed to safely remove water from 98% of heavy rainfall events, will reduce problematic flooding in the community. New water and sewer lines will mitigate distribution system leakage and infiltration into cracks in the sewer system. Increased efficiency in the system will reduce the amount of water requiring treatment by 5.5M gallons each year, in turn reducing energy demand, associated public health costs from energy generation, and operations and maintenance costs to MWS. This will save MWS up to $27,000 each year and will, in the long run, protect the health of our communities and save taxpayer dollars.